Today in Apple history: Rare Apple-1 sells for crazy money

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The Apple-1 sold for what was then the largest amount a personal computer ever earned at auction.
The Apple-1 sold for what was then the largest amount a personal computer had sold for at auction.
Photo: Christie's

November 23: Today in Apple history: Rare Apple-1 computer sells for $210,000 at auction November 23, 2010: An early Apple-1 computer, complete with its original packaging and a letter signed by Steve Jobs, sells for $210,000.

At the time, it ranks as the most expensive personal computer ever sold at auction. However, it’s a rare find. The working Apple-1 is thought to be one of only around 50 thought to still exist.

Today in Apple history: Unique Apple-1 computer sells for big money

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Steve Wozniak shows off a
Steve Wozniak shows off a "Celebration" model Apple-1, the rarest version of Apple's rarest computer.
Photo: Charitybuzz

August 25: Today in Apple history: Rare Celebration Apple-1 computer sells for big money August 25, 2016: An ultra-rare Apple-1 computer raises $815,000 in a charity auction, one of the highest prices ever paid for one of the machines. Bidding actually reaches $1.2 million in the auction’s final minutes. However, that bid gets pulled seconds before a winner is announced.

The reason for the super-high price? This “Celebration” Apple-1 boasts a feature that did not appear on any production models of the computer.

12 Apple 1s turn computer festival into ‘Disneyland for nerds’

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Apple 1 collection at Vintage Computer Festival West
Twelve of the 70 Apple 1 computers still in existence were at the Vintage Computer Festival West this past weekend.
Photo: Erik Klein/Vintage Computer Federation

Only 70 Apple 1 computers are known to exist. But collectors gathered twelve of them over the weekend for the annual Vintage Computer Festival West at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif.

This is no small feat considering the fragility and rarity of the humble machine that launched a computing revolution — and one of the world’s most influential companies.

“They are the computers that started Apple,” Dag Spicer, senior curator for the museum, told Cult of Mac. “People are completely blown away.”

Computer festival boasts world’s largest gathering of rare Apple 1s

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Apple-1
Would you believe 10 of these will be in one place?
Photo: Auction Team Breker

You would have to ride in a time machine back to 1976 and that garage on Crist Drive in Los Altos, Calif., to find 10 Apple 1 computers in the same space.

But this weekend, 10 or more will be displayed at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., for the annual Vintage Computer Festival West.

About half the machines will be working.

Original Apple-1 manual sells for almost $13,000

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A page from the original Apple-1 documentation.
This original Apple-1 user manual is slightly stained but it’s still worth quite a bit.
Photo: RR Auction

Bidding was apparently hot and heavy for a computer manual for the Apple-1, this company’s very first computer. In a multi-day online auction for this rare bit of tech history, the top bid was under $10,000 only a few days ago but in the end the document sold for $12,956.

Original Apple-1 manual goes up for auction for $10,000

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A page from the original Apple-1 documentation.
A page from the original Apple-1 documentation.
Photo: RR Auction

Unless you’re Scrooge McDuck, an international arms dealer or some other wealthy individual, chances are that you won’t be able to afford an Apple-1 at auction anytime soon.

But don’t give up hope of owning a piece of Apple’s first computer. An extremely rare original Apple-1 manual (remember when computers came with those?) has just come up for sale. And it’s only expected to cost $10,000!

Rare Apple-1 with original documentation goes up for auction

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Apple-1 auction
It's your opportunity to own one of Apple's original computers.
Photo: Christie's

Want to own one of the very first computers Apple ever launched? You very well could, thanks to a Christie’s auction selling an Apple-1 personal computer, circa 1976.

This model comes complete with original instruction manuals, supporting hardware, and “additional ephemera.” However, with an asking price of up to $630,000, you may have to get a second mortgage or sell a vital organ to get hold of it!

Today in Apple history: Apple-1 starts a revolution

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Apple-1
The Apple-1 in all its glory!
Photo: Auction Team Breker

April 11: Today in Apple history: Apple-1 launches. It's the First Apple computer. April 11, 1976: Apple releases its first computer, the Apple-1.

Designed and hand-built by Steve Wozniak, the computers are sold wholesale by “Steven” Jobs. To finance their manufacturing, Wozniak sells his HP-65 calculator for $500, while Jobs sells his VW van. Years later, in 2014, a working Apple-1 will sell at auction for $905,000.